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Manchester City players celebrating their goal

Manchester City players celebrate their goal

Sunday December 21, 2008Micah's Say... West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City

By William Wood | In Micah's Say

Manchester City succumbed to another league defeat as they were beaten 2-1 away at West Brom, and Micah gave his views on a result that left the side in the relegation zone exclusively with MicahRichards.com.

The Eastlanders went into the game having won just once in eight Premier League outings, and Hughes made two changes to the side as Robinho – who remains sidelined with an ankle injury – and fellow Brazilian Elano were replaced by Darius Vassell and Gelson Fernandes.

City dominated basement-side West Brom in the opening exchanges, and Vincent Kompany was the first to test his opponent’s resolve with a low drive that was comfortably saved by Scott Carson.

Shaun Wright-Phillips then saw his shot deflected away from goal having been set-up by Vassell, before the hosts began to stamp their authority on the game.

A fine break, instigated by Paul Robinson, eventually saw the dangerous Roman Bednar crash an effort against the post with Joe Hart beaten, and the Baggies forward followed up the chance with a glancing header that was cleared by Pablo Zabaleta.

The away side responded through Fernandes’ long-range drive which was grasped by Carson, and the England stopper was on hand again to deny Michael Ball from 30-yards.

Just after the interval, Wright-Phillips would have edged City in front had his powerful shot been either side of West Brom’s goalkeeper, while substitute Felipe Caicedo went close with an angled effort.

However, as Hughes’ men appeared to be gaining the upper hand, the home side took the lead, James Morrison slipping the ball through to Luke Moore who in turn slotted beyond Hart.

The travelling support didn’t have long to wait for an equaliser, however, as Caicedo’s improvised back-heel found the back of the net, and City looked set to return to Lancashire with a point.

There was still time for their hearts to be broken, however, as Tony Mowbray’s side grabbed a late winner, Bednar rising highest to connect with a cross and guide the ball home to the delight of the home fans and the dismay of the City contingent.

The defeat was a hard one to swallow, particularly in the wake of a similarly late defeat by Everton in the side’s last league fixture, and Micah was clearly disappointed.

“In truth it was an even game,” he said. “It could have gone either way to be honest, but today it went theirs and not ours.

“Even a point would have been disappointing, but losing is really hard to take, especially as we really needed the three points.”

Despite the disappointment, the England international believes the squad will haul themselves clear of the relegation zone over the coming months.

“A win today would have taken us up to 12th in the table, so it shows how tight the bottom half of the table is. We have the quality needed to get us clear of the relegation places.”

There is now under two weeks until the transfer window opens, and Micah predicts a busy month for manager Hughes as he goes about bolstering the side.

“I always believed that once the transfer window came, the gaffer would spend as he pleased and would strengthen where needed,” he concluded.